Coffee entrepreneur and adventurer Todd Carmichael, co-founder of the La Colombe gourmet java chain, will kick off his next original series on Travel Channel -- Uncommon Grounds -- on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Where his earlier show on the network, Dangerous Grounds, sent him to Haiti, Bolivia and various other dicey locations in search of elusive rare strains of coffee beans, this eight-part series sends the loquacious Carmichael and his cameraman sidekick "Hollywood" far from his Philadelphia home base on different errands of business development and cultural learning, according to the channel.
Here's the description for "Big In Japan," the debut episode: "Carmichael introduces a revolutionary new device called 'the Dragon' that could change the way coffee is brewed by aficionados around the world. When demand for the device skyrockets, Carmichael takes his invention to Japan in the hopes of finding a business partner that can reliably mass-produce his complex glass design. His mission takes him from the back streets of Tokyo to the rice fields of Okayama where he encounters everything from unconventional foods and nightlife to bullet trains and aikido. As one of the most notoriously eccentric places to conduct business on the planet, Carmichael has his work cut out for him in Japan to complete his cross-cultural deal."